Composed: 2001 Duration: 3 mins.
Instrumentation: Violin Solo
Exam Grade: AMEB Violin Grade 7,
ANZCA Violin Grade 7,
ISMN: 979-0-720109-44-2 Catalogue: RM773
Level: C Country: Australia
Dawn Interlude is a short French horn solo extracted my song cycle Songs for the Shadowland (for soprano, winds and piano). This piece is not only a commentary on Oodgeroo Noonucal’s poem Dawn Wail for the Dead but also, in its own way, a personal gesture of sorrow for past wrongs perpetrated against Indigenous Australians.
The use of descending glissandi, the use of stopped notes and a ‘natural horn’ quarter-tone harmonic emphasize the mournful nature of the piece.
Performed live by Ken Murray
Performed live at Melba Hall by Grainger Wind Symphony
I have long been a fan of Warner Brothers cartoons and their music scores from the golden age of the 1950s and 60s. To the Rescue! is my response to an imagined cartoon-like scenario of a rescue with lots of hair-brained schemes, much ridiculous activity but little actual rescuing.
Musically, the piece is full of animated running semiquaver passages, replete with percussion effects straight out of cartoon-scores and lively, exaggerated pastiche elements. In the dying stages of the piece, the full forces of the concert band finally come together as one, and perhaps in a concerted last-ditch effort, a serious rescue attempt is indeed mustered! PS
The term “variations” in this work is used somewhat loosely and does not conform to the strict connotation of the classical “Theme and Variations” form. Rather, it is used in the sense that the presented themes are decorated and varied over a repeated ground bass in much the same way as in a Chaconne. Material for this work was drawn from an earlier work Phospherics. This title came from a series of word associations:
Phosphorous: phosphorescent, luminous, green, nature. Spherics: spherical, circular, cyclical, cycles.
Versions of phosphoric Variations were originally composed for alto saxophone and piano, then later for clarinet and piano and flute and piano.